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This is the extraordinary story of Dr. Sanduk Ruit who, like his mentor Fred Hollows, took on the world's medical establishment to give the life-changing gift of sight to hundreds and thousands of the world's poorest and most isolated people. It is the story of a boy from the lowest tiers of a rigid caste system who grew up in a tiny, remote Himalayan village with no school to become one of the most respected ophthalmologists in the world and a medical giant of Asia. It is also the story of a young doctor who became Fred Hollows' medical soul mate and who chose to defy the world's medical establishment and the lure of riches to make the world a better place.
"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.
Ali Gripper has written features for Good Weekend, the Sydney Morning Herald, Australian, Daily Telegraph, South China Morning Post, and Country Style Magazine.Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:
Mario Wins Again
"Mario wins again!"
As the cheesy, overplayed music comes to a close and the screen goes dark, I drop my controller into my lap in defeat. Be it the stuffiness of this room or the fact that this is our sixth tournament today, I lost my first game of Mario Kart in months ... to my eight-year-old brother. I watch through narrowed eyes as Jack catapults around the room in victory, lifting his shirt over his head to reveal his pale torso. Seriously, what is it with boys and showing their chest when they win something? Is it some sort of animalistic display of dominance originating from our monkey ancestors? I can't help but snort in amusement as I consider this. He's such a little show-off. My hands dart out to grab him by the sides and I tug him down to tickle him.
"You wish, monkey boy," I scoff. "We both know that I kicked your butt on the other games."
Jack squirms to free himself from my hold, shooting me a glare as he brushes himself down. He hates me tickling him. "Monkey boy? I beat you with Mario, not Donkey Kong."
I'm way too lazy to explain my thought process to him so I just roll my eyes.
"Riley, can you come here please?" Mom calls from downstairs. If it wasn't for the urgency I can hear in her voice, I would probably make more of a scene asking why she can't just come upstairs to me, but she sounds excited about something. There's a spark of vitality in the words that I haven't heard in a while and it intrigues me.
Mumbling my protest instead, I swing my legs from the beanbag and give Jack a warning look with a clear subliminal message: Steal my seat, I steal your life. Of course, by the time I've reached the door, he's already sitting there. Oh, how I miss the days when I had some kind of authority over him.
As I enter the kitchen, I'm hit with the heart-warming aroma that signals Mom's baking: cupcakes and coffee, like the inside of a Starbucks, but much cosier. It's something that I haven't smelled for quite a while, and my sourness at having to walk all theway down the stairs disappears in a second at the sweetness of the nostalgia. I can't help but smile as I see her standing behind the kitchen counter in an apron. She looks up and brushes her hands off immediately. There's icing sugar in the curls of her hair.
"Come and look at this," she says, beckoning, abandoning her half-iced cupcakes. She leads me over to the kitchen window and pulls back the plaid drapes ever so slightly, just enough for me to peek through. Shooting her a look of bewilderment and wondering if this has anything to do with the new geraniums she bought yesterday, I squeeze my head into the gap and look out at the neighbours' driveway. I was expecting a potted plant, so what I see instead surprises me greatly.
We have new neighbours.
Parked next door, in the house that has been empty for almost six months now, is a large removal truck. The giant green anomaly overshadows the small car beside it, and my eyebrows rise further upwards as I watch the family climbing out of the vehicle. A woman steps out first, and reaches into the back to grab a small girl from the back seat. Her dark curls are scraped back into a clasp, and her features are delicate and feminine. It's nice that someone around Mom's age is moving in next door – my mom could use someone to talk to living so close by. The girl the woman carries is around the age of four or five, with the cutest baby face I've ever laid eyes on and two brunette bunches on either side of her head. Adorable.
I'm not sure who I was expecting to see get out of the car next, but it definitely wasn't the alluring, moody boy that I see now. He looks around my age, and from what I can see of his ebony hair and angled jaw ... he's hot. No doubt the entire population of the student body will completely swarm this one. I can't help but watch as he threads his fingers through his hair, slightly entranced. I'm a bit of a scientific hermit when it comes to the species of "the hot", so the fact that I have an attractive male now living next door is enough to make my stomach flip.
I pull the drape further to the side, but to my complete horror, the boy's head snaps up at the movement. His eyes latch onto mine as he notices me ogling. Oh. I pull away quickly, bumping back into Mom's shoulder. I can already feel a blush burning my cheeks. He must think I'm such a creep. Surprisingly though, by the time I've recovered enough courage to peek through again, he doesn't look affected in the slightest. Bored almost, which reassures me.
Out of fear of being spotted again, I withdraw from the drapes – finally this time – and pull them closed. It was only a matter of time before we got new neighbours, I knew that, but it still comes as a surprise. The house next door is fairly large – a two-storey cream-coloured family house with a front porch and unruly yard. I had grown quite used to it being empty, and definitely never pictured someone of my own age moving in. Mom chortles at my puzzled expression and tucks my long hair behind my shoulders. It warms my heart that she's so excited about this.
"What do you think, eh?" she says. "New neighbours."
I smile half-heartedly, heading over to the fridge. "I haven't seen them around Lindale before. They must be new to town."
Lindale is one of those fairly small, well-kept communities where most people know of each other and the sense of town pride is strong. There's a school for each age group, lots of community fundraisers and with surroundings of dense Oregon forest in almost every direction away from the beach.
My eyes scour the shelves of the fridge, but I'm left disappointed. "No orange juice," I murmur, peering at the remnants of food. All that's left is wafer-thin ham, flavoured water and an old lettuce. Not much I can make there.
Mom shrugs in reply, batting my hand away as I reach for a cupcake instead.
"We need to go shopping, Ma," I grumble. "There's no food in this house."
"The order is coming later!"
She sticks her tongue out at me, and I'm momentarily stunned by that simple action, something that she hasn't done in a long time. It seems like today is going really well for her. Mom and I are similar in more ways than one. Along with our almost matching appearance – auburn curls and fair skin – we're both sarcastic and jokey with an abnormally weird side. Mom only shows her weird side when she's in a good mood nowadays, so when she does, that makes it all the more special.
"So, you felt like doing some baking today then?" I probe, peering over her shoulder as she ices the cupcakes.
Her hand falters slightly as I ask, and she nods. "I missed it. Figured I can't mope for ever." She looks back at me with a small smile.
"Good," I say. "I love you. I'm going upstairs to do some studying." I brush past and grab a lollipop from my sweet jar, just as my phone begins to vibrate in my pocket. Amusement curves my lips as I see Violet's particularly horrific caller-ID picture show up on the screen. She and I have a bit of a tradition about how we answer the phone. It takes me only a second to think of an opening line before I pick up.
"Tampax tampons – for your need to bleed. How may I be of assistance?"
"This is no time for jokes, Riley!" Violet replies in a hushed voice. It's only then that I remember that she's on a blind date. Knowing her pickiness when it comes to guys, it's probably going badly. "I'm in the girls' toilets at the moment. Hiding. Stupid period had to come today, when I'm wearing white jeans! Plus, he has the table manners of a complete pig. He spilt water all over me."
"Okay," I snort at my eccentric best friend. "Dry yourself off a bit. If you have a jacket, tie it round your waist and just tell the guy that you have a stomach ache or something. If he's got a brain, he'll take you home."
Violet mumbles in agreement, and I can hear the rustling of her jacket down the line.
"Thanks so much." She sighs gratefully. "And hey, nice line. I better get back out there before he starts worrying. Text me later?"
"I will," I promise, before hanging up.
Violet and I have been best friends since the very beginning of Freshman year. We sat next to each other in our first Math class, where she slapped a jock for making fun of her dyed purple hair. I respected her attitude from that moment onwards. Unlike me, she's gabby and confident and shamelessly herself – she's magnetic. I, on the other hand, am known to be a bit of a dork. Just a little socially awkward, my role in our friendship is often to advise her from afar while she faces the horrors of social inter-action.
I head straight back upstairs to my room and shut the door behind me. My bedroom is my haven. It's not particularly glamorous or artsy, but it's rustic and it feels like home. The entire far wall is dedicated to tacked posters of bands and TV shows. Everything in this room, from the mess of books to the mix of old vinyl records, screams introvert and I love it. My skateboard and old guitar sit propped against the wardrobe, and my double bed, complete with Star Wars sheets, sits in its usual unruly state just opposite my window. Funnily enough, my window exactly mirrors a window in the neighbouring house, separated only by a couple of metres.
Now that I have neighbours ...
I tiptoe towards the window and cautiously peer round the window frame into the room opposite. If my luck is as bad as I estimate it to be, I can't risk being spotted staring at Neighbour Dude again. Sure enough, as my eyes rest on the room opposite, I have to fight to restrain my groan. Of course it's the guy. I guess my drapes will have to remain closed from now on. I tug the purple material further back to see that he's packing away his things. He hasn't noticed me this time, at least. It's only this close up that I realise quite how attractive this guy is. With a strong, chiselled jawline and defined cheekbones, his face is angular and, dare I say it, sexy. Inky locks curl over his forehead, and his eyes are a deep cobalt.
He turns to face the other way and I snap out of my daze, a little surprised with myself that I have stared at him so much already. I will be the first to openly admit that I haven't had the best experiences when it comes to boys, so it's really out of the question for me to have a crush. I guess there isn't any harm in looking, but I close the drapes and walk away just to be on the safe side.
Putting on my music, I settle down to do some studying. My grades dropped a lot last year, and I'm determined to get back on track in time for Senior year. Studying is a way to focus my energy so that I feel like I'm actually accomplishing something in my free time. Twenty One Pilots blast through my docking station. I nod my head in time to the music and stare down at the equations in front of me until my eyes blur. I've never been good at Math, and now I'm having to fight my hardest to keep up. Nothing seems to click. I just hope this extra work will be worth it in my final exams next year.
My phone buzzes. It's Violet again.
I escaped from that hellish date! I'll tell you all the details on Monday xx
Don't get distracted by the phone. Ugh goon then. May as well reply.
I type in a hasty message before turning my phone off. No doubt if I didn't, Mom would walk in, see me texting Violet and think I'd been doing that the entire time. We have some major trust issues in our relationship – mainly due to the bowl cut she made me get when I was twelve. Yup, it looked just as bad as it sounds, if not worse.
After a solid hour of studying, I finally finish and it's getting late. I stifle my yawn and begin to get changed ready for bed, ensuring the drapes are firmly closed before I strip. I would not want Neighbour Dude to get more than he bargained for by moving into that room. I don't think that's the kind of first impression I want to make, funnily enough.
I slide into the covers in my pyjama top, frowning as I realise that the music next door is playing pretty loudly. Surely that heavy metal couldn't belong to the mom of a toddler. No, my bet is placed on the boy in the room next door, which would explain why I seem to be taking the brunt of the volume. Judging by the raucous laughter and heavy rock music, Mr Neighbour has friends over. He hasn't even been here for a day, and already he's having a party. If this isn't foreshadowing, I don't know what is.
I sigh, frustrated, and slam the pillow over my head in an attempt to muffle the sound, curling further into the soft sheets and hoping for the best.
Twenty minutes later, I'm still unsuccessful.
Looks like this will be a long night.
I stir to a small sound near by, and groan quietly. The music from next door still hasn't stopped! Can a girl not get her beauty sleep any more? Blinking to clear my vision, I prop myself up on one elbow and turn on the lamp beside my bed. Light floods the room, and I survey the lit scene quickly, my jaw slackening in surprise at what I see.
I stare wide-eyed at the boy, who seems just as paralysed as I am.
His eyes lock onto mine in shock and we stare at each other for what feels like hours. He's positioned halfway through the window, reaching out towards the opposite sill, with my Minnie Mouse bra swinging in his closed fist.
What. The. Actual. Fudge.CHAPTER 2
Come and Get It
My first instinct is to scream. Unfortunately, the boy is one step ahead of me. By the time I snap back to reality, he's already darting out of the window. He doesn't look back as he climbs nimbly over the frame, and my paralysis turns to pure confusion and rage.
"What the absolute hell do you think you are doing?"
I yank the covers back and swing my legs out of bed to chase him to the window. He gives me a single unreadable glance back before making the final leap towards the opposite ledge, landing so gracefully that a cat would be jealous. My bare legs tingle with goosebumps in the chilly night air, and I fold my arms across my chest as I turn to face the window. Inside the opposite room is a group of boys, all laughing uneasily as they stare at me. They're barely recognisable in the dim lamplight, but I know who they are.
One of the boys approaches the window, the breeze in the frosty air ruffling his golden locks. Dylan Merrick. He's in my grade at school, although I've never really spoken to him. He's one of those effortlessly sociable types whom everybody adores. Dylan offers me a sheepish, reassuring grin which would usually melt any girl in a second, including myself, but this time my anger seems to have immunised me from that angel-carved expression.
"You must be really confused," he says, taking in my mixed expressions.
"No shit, Sherlock," I hiss. "Care to tell me what the hell you think you guys are doing?" I feel so uncomfortable knowing they have my tattered old bra in that room.
Dylan cringes slightly. "It was a stupid dare. We didn't think you'd wake up."
"He stole my freaking bra!" I cry, fisting my hands. "You thought you could break into my house in the middle of the night and steal my bra for some stupid dare? I don't even know you!" I watch him wince at my crazed tone, and I'm suddenly aware of how loud my voice has grown. I have a right to be crazy, surely?
"Very nice bra by the way." Joe Travis pops his head up beside Dylan, all scruffy hair and mischievous blue eyes. He's one of the class clowns at Lindale High. He's mostly popular for the amount of times he's played pranks on the ex-principal — itching powder in the underarms of he...
"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.
Book Description Allen & Unwin, Australia, 2019. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. 'A true insight into my remarkable friend Dr Sanduk Ruit.' - Gabi Hollows'He reminds me of Don Bradman. They both have a God-given talent and skill.' - Ray Martin'If I've done one thing in life I'm proud of, it's launching Ruit into the world'. - Fred Hollows'One of the greatest people I've ever met.' - Joel Edgerton'I've known Dr Sanduk Ruit for over thirty years. He is one of our greatest living eye surgeons and humanitarians. Watching him give the gift of sight is like watching someone give a second life.' - Richard GereInspiring and uplifting, this is the extraordinary story of Dr Sanduk Ruit who, like his mentor Fred Hollows, took on the world's medical establishment to give the life-changing gift of sight to hundreds and thousands of the world's poorest and most isolated people. It is the story of a boy from the lowest tiers of a rigid caste system who grew up in a tiny, remote Himalayan village with no school to become one of the most respected ophthalmologists in the world and a medical giant of pelling and compassionate, it is also the story of a young doctor who became Fred Hollows' medical soul mate and who chose to defy the world's medical establishment and the lure of riches to make the world a better place. Seller Inventory # AA99781760292706
Book Description Atlantic Books 2019-08-01, Sydney, 2019. paperback. Condition: New. Seller Inventory # 9781760292706
Book Description Condition: New. Seller Inventory # 35780136-n
Book Description Paperback. Condition: New. Paperback. 'A true insight into my remarkable friend Dr Sanduk Ruit.' - Gabi Hollows'He reminds me of Don Bradman. They both have a God-given talent and skill.' - Ray Martin'If I've done one thing .Shipping may be from multiple locations in the US or from the UK, depending on stock availability. 304 pages. 0.470. Seller Inventory # 9781760292706
Book Description Atlantic Books, 2019. PAP. Condition: New. New Book. Shipped from UK. Established seller since 2000. Seller Inventory # F6-9781760292706
Book Description Allen & Unwin. Paperback / softback. Condition: New. New copy - Usually dispatched within 4 working days. Seller Inventory # B9781760292706
Book Description Condition: New. Seller Inventory # 370960157
Book Description Condition: New. Seller Inventory # 35780136-n
Book Description 2018. Paperback. Condition: New. Paperback. 'A true insight into my remarkable friend Dr Sanduk Ruit.' - Gabi Hollows'He reminds me of Don Bradman. They both have a God-given talent and skill.' - Ray Martin'If I've do.Shipping may be from our Sydney, NSW warehouse or from our UK or US warehouse, depending on stock availability. 304 pages. 0.470. Seller Inventory # 9781760292706
Book Description Allen & Unwin, 2019. Paperback. Condition: Brand New. 1st edition. 284 pages. 9.00x6.00x1.00 inches. In Stock. Seller Inventory # x-1760292702